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Nijmegen, Netherlands

Boele A.,SOVON Vogelonderzoek | Van Dijk A.,SOVON Vogelonderzoek | Hustings F.,SOVON Vogelonderzoek | Van Bruggen J.,SOVON Vogelonderzoek | And 3 more authors.
Limosa | Year: 2011

This paper reports on rare and colonial breeding birds in The Netherlands in 2008 and 2009. The data result from a national monitoring scheme for 17 species of colonial breeding birds and about 100 rare breeding birds, carried out in The Netherlands since 1992 (some species also earlier) according to standardised methods. For some species the data represent national censuses, for others only key sites (including all Natura 2000 sites, see details in Tab. i).The counts are part of a governmental ecological monitoring network and are coordinated by SOVON Dutch Center for Field Ornithology, in close collaboration with Statistics Netherlands (CBS; trend analyses) and species' experts. Fieldwork is mainly conducted by dedicated volunteers and local nature conservation agencies. Counts in the Wadden Sea are also done within the framework of the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Program (TMAP). The breeding seasons of 2008 and 2009 followed rather mild winters, although a short but heavy cold spell in December 2008/January 2009, mainly confined to the SE part of the country, constituted the first severe winter weather since 12 years. Also important for breeding birds, especially those relying on damp meadows, were prolonged dry periods in April (both years) and May-June (in 2008). In both years, July was extremely wet. Highlights in 2008-09 included records of breeding Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo of the race carbo (up to 4-5 pairs in 2009, partly mixed pairs). Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (2 in 2009, first successful pairs since 1989), Red Kite Milvus milvus (2008 Groningen, first since 1988), Black Kite Milvus migrans (2009 Limburg, successful breeding pair ever). Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus (2 and 5 in Drenthe in 2008-09, accidental breeders perhaps undetected In previous years), European Bee-eater Merops apiaster (Drenthe 2008,4' year in succession, no records in 2009) and Melodious Warbler Hippolais polyglotta (mainly Limburg, 6 in both 2008 and 2009 including mixed pair). Previous newcomers like Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus (Drenthe in 2008-09, not successful). Whitetailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla (in both years in Oostvaarderplassen). Common Crane Grusgrus (Drenthe, 3 pairs in 2008 as well as 2009) still remain at a low level, but are expected to expand in future years. Still thriving populations were recorded for Western Great Egret Casmerodius albus, Purple Heron Ardeapurpurea, White Stork Ciconia cicoriia, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Greater Canada Goose Branta canadensis, Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, Red-crested Pochard Nettarufina, Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus, Peregrine Faico peregrinus, Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus, Greater Black-backed Gull Larus marinus, Middle-spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius, Cetti's Warbler Cettia cetti (despite cold spell in winter 2008/09) and Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio. Previously increasing populations of Little Egret Egretta garzetta. Common Kingfisher Aicedo atthis and Grey Wagtail Motaciiia cinerea were still at high levels in 2008, but suffered considerable losses in 2009 due to the cold in December/January.This also affected the breeding population of Grey Heron Ardea cinerea in 2009 (-14%) and Western Barn Owl Tyto alba (-41%), Contrary to these generally increasing trends are very small and mostly declining populations of Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus (decline to 22 pairs in 2009), Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix (Overijssel, 12 males in both 2008 and 2009), Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (only 170-200 left), Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (though small recovery up to 30-35 in 2009), Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla (only 10 recorded in 2009), Crested Lark Galerida cristata (Limburg and Noord-Brabant, 9-11 in 2008-09), Fieldfare Turduspilaris (mainly Limburg, 25-60 at most in 2009), Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus (8-9), mainly coastal dunes) and Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra (Limburg and Noord-Brabant, 2-3 pairs left). Source

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